Pop precision, a throne and water pistols
Friday night at Primavera Sound marks the eve of Pride Month and – in a piece of inspired scheduling – the two main stages has been given over to a stupendous run of LGBTQI+ icons. Up straight after Carly Rae Jepsen, (joyous pop hits) and just prior to sets from Miley Cyrus (rock anthems) and Robyn, Janelle Monáe brings some stage school slickness to proceedings with a set so meticulously polished it makes everyone else seem a bit slack.
Flanked by four dancers, and backed by a predominantly female, five-piece band, Monáe appears to the 2001: Space Odyssey theme, astride the stage’s central plinth, sporting a boxy cap and huge, wrap around perspex shades, like some futuristic take on Rhythm Nation-era Janet Jackson. ‘Crazy Classic Life’ segues straight into ‘Screwed’, complete with Supersoaker-toting dancers, which in turn runs straight into ‘Django Jane’, Monáe rapping from a throne at the top of the podium.